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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 73. ‘The Train Game’
My brand-spanking new BMX bike. Black frame with gold and red flames and gold padding. There was also a guitar with the presents, but it was quickly kicked to the curb in favour of freedom, speed, and adventure.
My friends lived on a farm down by the railway station. Trees blocked all view of the tracks making for a wondrous playground away from prying eyes. The dry river bed that curled alongside the train tracks was an invitation no bike could resist. The boys were already jostling for prime position as I squished in alongside them and waited. In the distance, the oncoming train bellowed in full pride, projecting its warning to move aside. This was not the first time we had engaged in a race with the iron beast, but that feeling of dread and excitement was always the same. The boys were always a little faster than I, but this time I was determined to leave them in the dust. Our eyes steadfast on the race flag bearer, we waited for our cue. The cry of “go” was muffled by the roaring engine but we were off in a heartbeat. Three gladiators charged into the dust with wild abandon attempting to beat the train at the crossing point. The first of the gladiators went down moments into the challenge catching a wayward stick in his bike spokes. He flew through the air like some comical clown, crashing down in the arms of shrubbery. Heartless and undeterred, the two of us peddled on frantically to stay ahead of our nemesis. The piercing sound of the train rattled around in my head bringing my attention to the level of danger and stupidity, but it was sternly pushed aside. My friend and I were neck and neck as we closed in on victory but the beast was starting to get the better of us both. My obdurate pride was nearly the end of me as my friend skidded to a halt just shy of the finish line. Yes! I thought to myself, winner! Leaving him behind I darted across the track. Almost, but not quite. I could have landed anywhere really. The rear tyre was clipped by the train and flung me headlong into trees and prickles. Under the train, sparks flew as my pride and joy was dragged for miles. I was gashed and bruised, but otherwise unharmed. (Can’t say the same for my bike. ) The youngest of our gang, the flag bearer, stood slack-jawed over the top of me and wailed out “ummmm maaaaaaa, you’re in trouble.” And trouble there was, and I was grounded for two months. At the end of my incarceration, my dad presented me with a new bike. It was girly pink with big white wheels and an enormous basket attached to the front end. My bike riding days were done. :-). My reflection on childhood adventures makes survival to adulthood quite the accomplishment. Certainly these days I pass on all race challenges with ” naaa I’m good thanks.”
Thanks for listening!